For most people around the UK—and around the world, really—taking care of their mental health has become a top priority. Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, people’s stress and anxiety levels have skyrocketed to alarming rates. It also doesn’t help that the crisis has carried on for more than a year now, only prolonging the distress that everyone has been dealing with.
Now more than ever, it has become important for health workers that deal with mental well-being to become more equipped in addressing this growing issue. Fortunately, new perspectives on social and psychological health have arisen just as the country is beginning to usher in the post-pandemic world. Among these, online therapy seems to be the most significant step forward.
Likewise, psychology training videos and other resources have become more relevant to help medical professionals provide better care for their patients through virtual platforms. It’s important to note, however, that doing therapy online can also have its fair share of ups and downs.
A Call for Virtual Sessions
The likelihood of people developing post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and clinical anxiety in the wake of the current health crisis is extremely high. In fact, at least one out of four young people expressed having a difficult time coping with life due to the prolonged pandemic. Moreover, 56% of 16 to 25 year-olds have reported feeling anxious most of the time while 50% felt like their mental health has worsened over the past year.
Additionally, pandemic burnout has also been on the rise in the UK as people didn’t expect the health crisis to last this long. These are perhaps some of the worst findings to have been observed in recent years. In this light, the demand for online therapy has understandably increased as well. Before you consider getting into this avenue for your mental health, however, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to be aware of.
No Matter the Distance
The most apparent advantage of online therapy is that it’s perfect for how the country is currently set up. Despite the implementation of a national lockdown and other government restrictions, it has made talking about mental health concerns more accessible and even affordable for some. It’s also been able to provide much-needed treatment for a lot of people who find themselves living in remote areas or are simply still uncomfortable with going out.
In Your Comfort Zone
In relation to accessibility, online therapy has also You don’t necessarily have to endure all the hassle of transportation like taking the tube or driving around. Therapy can simply be done in a place where you feel the most comfortable, whether it’s in your home or elsewhere. This can necessarily save you a lot of time as well, especially if you have a busier schedule. All you need is a reliable network connection and it’ll be quick and easy.
A Matter of Privacy
The integration of technology and the internet into seeking therapy has raised concerns regarding confidentiality. In any form of medical treatment, the personal information of any individual should always be kept private. However, there is an added level of complexity when it comes to understanding how your privacy is kept online. This is all the more relevant as threats like information leaks and hacks are prevalent when it comes to the online setting.
Picking up the Signals
Doing therapy online can also be quite challenging on the side of health professionals particularly because they are unable to directly interact with their patients. Oftentimes, physical acts like body language and facial expressions can be used as cues for them to better understand what your disposition is at the moment. It can also rob a certain feeling of intimacy and empathy that patients would usually hope to receive from their therapists.
In the Aftermath
The continued success of the national vaccination rollout programs throughout the UK promises that the health crisis is nearing its end. This has given immense hope for a lot of people, especially after more than a year of struggling and coping with so many unfortunate circumstances. A necessary light at the end of an unexpectedly long tunnel. Regardless, building a better and healthier community in the wake of the pandemic is just as crucial—if not, even more so.
There are significant psychological and social implications that everyone has to be wary of as they come into the post-pandemic world. The crisis has taken a massive toll when on people’s mental health. More than anything, always look out for your own well-being. If possible, try to do the same for your friends and loved ones as well. Keep holding on, just a little longer.